MBA11 (or 13) as your only computer without an external?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by xkmxkmxlmx, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    I know this question comes up here and there, but it always seems like people are asking with an external monitor in mind.

    I am wondering how many people here use MBA 11 or 13 as their only computer. More importantly the 11. No external monitor. Just the laptop.

    If so, what do you do with it? What type of work? School?

    I am looking to consolidate as much as possible, and weighing the pros and cons of just a MBA alone. I like the idea and think it is possible, but was wondering about other experiences.

    Bonus: How tall are you? I am 6'2" and seem to have an issue with smaller screened laptops. They obviously sit further away from my face when I am typing. I was wondering if anyone really tall uses an 11 comfortably.

  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    I am 6"3 and find the 11" screen small and different - but love it at the same time. Only use on the couch or bed.
  3. xkmxkmxlmx thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    So you don't do any real work on it is what you're saying?

    And you obviously have another setup?
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Luv my 11" obviously and my top priority is portability hence. At time I'd like a bigger screen but I make do, work within the constraints of what's my top priority.

    95% surf. other 5% the occasional spreadsheet, word processing, blah-blah, so nothing critical.

    I suppose if I do CAD work, or an accountant having to have a complex spreadsheet on my face, a 11" will really be limiting, but NO, just surfing, is fine. Some stuff comes too tinny but Safari's pinch-zoom works smooth so I use it often, and I enlarge my spreadsheets to 125% for my comfort. Done.

    Once awhile am watching a flash or youtube or something and it seems more natural to AirPlay it to my 46" and full stereo. That's for video.
  5. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    I swapped a 20" iMac for a 13" MacBook Air and it's fine.

    Full screen mode on apps makes a big difference.

  6. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I only use the 13in MBA at a desk or on my lap. Works fine for me but I do have an Aeron chair that sits high. The 11in was too small for me (as is the 9in iPad for more than short bursts). I'm 5ft8in. What glasses do you have ? I have bifocals and the reading part is fine with the 13in screen.
  7. l0gan5 macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2010
    Cambridge. UK
    I run a website on mine (11") as well as the usual office apps, email, web browsing etc. Portability was the most important factor for me as I update my site during the day and I may be at different places.
  8. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i am a scientist, i am 5'11" and i have used a 13" MBP exclusive for years now. my boss got me an external monitor, but i never use it.

    13 has been plenty for me as a primary machine. i edit documents and presentations - make figures, work on data and do some graphical analysis

    i am about to buy an 11" MBA. I was set to get the 13 but after playing with it at the fruitstand i didn't really notice a big difference in size or especially weight w/ my mbp.

    the 11 on the other hand really felt like a ultralight! i would definitely try them out if you haven't already. i really thought i knew exactly what i wanted until i actually went to the store.
  9. Kartram macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2013
    The form factor is the main difference that you will notice. Screen size should not matter because you will get used to the difference, and like others indicated you will get used to pinch and zoom. I used the 11 for development work for a year and recently got a 2012 MBA 13. I notice the weight and the size immediately. I wish i still had my MBA 11.

    One more thing, Apple sells lot more MBA 11's than MBA 13's and if you notice they are hardly discounted.
  10. Project538 macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    Iowa, USA
    Up until a few days ago I was using a 20" iMac. I got a 13" Air and so far have had no problems adjusting. I've started doing a lot more stuff in full screen (YouTube viewing, Pages documents, Minecraft, etc.), but it hasn't ever really felt cramped. If I'm sitting a ways back from the screen and something on a webpage seems too small, I'll pinch to zoom in to it. I plan on using it throughout college as my only computer, and so far it seems like I'll be able to do that no problem. Since others have been posting their height here, I'll chime in: I'm 6'6" and the 13" MacBook Air is a great size :)
  11. tom4444 macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2010
    I use MBA 11 a lot, for my work and private stuff. I had spent A LOT of time until I decided to choose this one. I do not regret. I can mention three flaws I feel:

    1. not backlit keyboard (it was the first gen MBA 11). But it is not problem anymore for you.

    2. High PPI (pixel per inch) - it means small screen, high resolution, plenty of room (1366x768), BUT everything is smaller than on MBP or Cinema Display. Not ergonomic at all. I use zooming in Safari a lot, and ctrl-scroll (MacOs zooming). But the display is perfect, absolutely no problem with reflections.

    3. if you choose MBA 11 instead of 13, you have to WANT it :) The position of trackpad is not ergonomical. I had MBP 15 and it had plenty of space for resting you hands. It was comfortable. MBA 11 is small, it has sharp edges. You have hands laid on the edges nearly all the time. Of course it depends on the way you use it. Laid on the table it will be OK, but on your laps (and legs on the table - my favourite position) it is problem to use the trackpad comfortly.

    My usage: I administrate computers in our company, so I use Apple Remote Desktop often. I was afraid of this, but it is not problem even with controlling 30inch Mac. Of course it is not ideal, but ideal solution would be 15in retina MBP :).
    Terminal (SSH), vpn. bash scripting, some PHP scripting, some graphic work (Acorn), studying some PDFs, some maths, some basic work with audio&video (i do TV postproduction, but i would not use the air for serious editing), browsing&communication. iPhoto. The resolution is big enough, but again, letters are not big.

    But i love it. Previously I had 2008 (not unibody) 15"MBP and it was best and nicest notebook ever. But I was carrying it to work (and between works) all the time and it was too heavy. But it was pleasure to work with. When Apple came with unibody design I hated it and only notebooks that looks nice for me are Airs.
  12. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I'm a researcher and rely on my 13", and I'm very happy with that set up. Personally, a 11" would be too small for me, but YMMV.

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